Fairport Convention announce ‘Come All Ye – The First 10 Years’

Fairport Convention have announced the forthcoming 28th of July release on UMC of a massive 7CD box set covering their first decade as a band.   It has been compiled by Andrew Batt, the curator of the very successful show, The Lady – A Tribute To Sandy Denny, which toured the UK in 2012, this collection celebrates Fairport’s first 10 years, beginning with their eponymous debut for Polydor in 1968, through all of their seminal albums for Island Records and finishing with tracks from their two albums for Vertigo, The Bonny Bunch of Roses and Tippers TalesContinue reading “Fairport Convention announce ‘Come All Ye – The First 10 Years’”

Nathan Xander : “Over you, over me”

Nathan Xander is a troubadour in the Texas sense, when he’s in Texas. Or in the California sense when he’s there. Or the Chicago sense, oh, OK. You get it. The man writes like he travels: well and often. Nathan’s new collection of songs, Blue House (17th July, Trailer Fire Records), was recorded in a big blue barn in Upstate New York and represents the work of a writer in the prime of his craft.

Paul Simon doesn’t feel groovy

Famously cantankerous master songsmith Paul Simon takes great pleasure in distancing himself from the songs that made him famous in the first place.  The very songs which many people of judgement actually prefer.  But of all the songs of his youth it is 59th Bridge Street Song which attracted his ire during his recent appearance on The Late Show. Continue reading “Paul Simon doesn’t feel groovy”

Whitehorse are on a roll

Rolling Stone, no less, have described Whitehorse as a “Superduo whose music swirls together the swampy swagger of the Bible Belt, the minor-akey melancholy of film noir soundtracks and the raw stomp of rock & roll.”  Not that they’re satisfied with just that.  Their latest album, their fourth, has the genre chameleons furthering their sonic breadth –  encompassing a driving Americana image with psychedelic surf, arid border rock, lo-fi ingenuity and icy 80’s sparseness.  It’s called Panther In The Dollhouse, and it is out in the first week of August.   Continue reading “Whitehorse are on a roll”

The Turtles swim free again

May 2017 has seen many peculiar events popping up in the news, an almost daily dose of incredulity. Here comes another one. Somewhat unheralded Edsel Records have re-issued deluxe expanded versions of all six original albums by The Turtles. Yes indeed – It ain’t me Babe, You Baby and Happy Together all as mono and stereo versions, The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands and Turtle Soup with a disc of bonus tracks and the final, post break up release, Wooden Head has some more unused tracks added to it. Continue reading “The Turtles swim free again”

Argyll Gathering is new Scottish Festival

Argyll Gathering is a new Scottish event celebrating the best of music, culture and the arts opening its doors August 19th – 20th 2017 in the stunning setting of Helensburgh, some thirty miles outside Glasgow. The event will showcase the best in traditional contemporary Scottish music, local food and drink and feature interactive workshops.  Artists confirmed so far include the former lead singer of one of Scotland’s most celebrated groups, Runrig‘s Donnie Munro, who will be performing live with a full band. Continue reading “Argyll Gathering is new Scottish Festival”

Morton Valence “Europa” (Bastard Recordings, 2017)

Were it not for the declaration on the album cover that “millions of us…consider ourselves as both citizens of the UK and Europe” Morton Valence’s latest release would represent the subtlest political album you’re ever likely to encounter. At first glance it’s a collection of multi-lingual cover versions, capped off with a reworking of the band’s own Sailors’ Return. Look a little closer and there’s a subliminal message here : je suis venu te dire que je m’en vais takes Serge Gainsbourg’s song and makes of it a lament for the EU Referendum vote, following it up with a crackling Weimer republic version of Wenn ich mir was wunschen durfte that hammers home the message. Continue reading “Morton Valence “Europa” (Bastard Recordings, 2017)”

Joe Purdy has something to sing about.

It is often said that hard times, or difficult times, bring forth the best music. You know – Woody and the Dust Bowl, the Civil Rights Movement and Dylan, Thatcherism and Bucks Fizz. Or should that be Billy Bragg? Anyway, that kind of thing. It does sometimes make one pause and wonder if the hard times are worth going through just to get the music, but then if they’re unavoidable at least having someone who’ll stand up and be counted, point a few fingers and tell a few home truths makes them a little easier to take. The craziness of the last couple of years has thrown up more than a few protest singers worth the name, but none more worthy than Joe Purdy. Continue reading “Joe Purdy has something to sing about.”

Slaid Cleaves previews track from new album

Over on Rolling Stone Country, much underrated Americana troubadour Slaid Cleaves has been talking about his upcoming new album  Ghost on the Car Radio and previewing the first song from it Drunken Barber’s Hand.   It’s a co-write with frequent collaborator Rod Picott who, as is often the case,  has released his own version of the tune.  Drunken Barber’s Hand sees Cleaves revisiting the more political bent he took on his last LP, 2013’s Still Fighting the War. Continue reading “Slaid Cleaves previews track from new album”

Courtney Marie Andrews to tour Britain late Summer

Courtney Marie Andrews obviously likes the UK, as she’s already spent some time here earlier this year opening for the Handsome Family and she’s decided to bring her brand of country inspired singer-songwriting back again for dates in late August and early September. Having started touring at the age of 16 when she left her home in Arizona she’s travelled far – literally and figuratively – over the last decade. She’s racked up plenty of road miles, and still found time for five studio albums of new classics in the mode of an Emmylou Harris – with a touch of Linda Rontstadt around the edges. Continue reading “Courtney Marie Andrews to tour Britain late Summer”